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Bath & Faucets

Toilet on Ceramic Tile

Should a ceramic toilet be placed directly on ceramic tile?  It seems there is a possibility for the toilet to crack if the tiles are uneven or not smooth, thus creating pressure points.  I saw a suggestion that some plumber's putty should be used as a cushion between the toilet and the tile.  Is this a good idea?  Are there any other methods?  Thanks.
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Posted 2016-01-27T01:08:28+0000  by JoeM JoeM
Toilets are placed on ceramic tile all the time without any kind of "cushioning" and I haven't heard of using plumbers putty or anything else used as a cushion.  Caulking at the base of the toilet is, I think, code but that's to keep water out.  Is your floor very uneven?
Posted 2016-01-27T09:21:38+0000  by Adam444

Hey JoeM,

Thanks for joining us here on the community.

Yes, a porcelain toilet can be directly installed over ceramic tile provided the edge of the tile is cut about an inch from the toilet floor flange.

There is no cushion ever used, if the floor/subfloor is level; then you can install right over it. You need to give ceramic/porcelain tile more credit than you has a high pounds per square inch tolerance for items over it. 

Think of it this way, if a heavy couch or furniture can go over tile, so can a toilet. It's just all in how level and effective everything will be once its all installed. That will determine how well it will hold up over time.

Personally, I don't caulk all the way around the toilets as this can create mold issues under it down the road since it will condensate and needs air to flow through it. You can however caulk around the front and leave the back open. And only use 100% silicone caulking, as acrylic-based caulks can fail due to constant temperature changes over time and looks bad eventually.

Let us know if you have any further questions,


Posted 2016-01-27T16:53:45+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
Thanks for the responses.  The floor tile is pretty even, but the tile surface itself is a little bit bumpy (i.e., it isn't perfectly smooth tile).  I actually was more concerned about the toilet rather than the tile.  Several years ago I did have a toilet develop a hairline crack (and a leak) near its base which made me wonder if it was the result of excessive pressure in that specific area created by maybe a slight high point in the tile in that spot.  I replaced the toilet but did not use any sort of cushioning material.  Now I again have a leak near its base, though I cannot see any cracks in the toilet (at least from what is visible without removing the toilet for further inspection).  The interesting part is that the toilet leaks near the base while you are sitting on it.  If you stand up, clean up the leak and flush the toilet, it does not show any evidence of leaking.  That made me wonder if it was something other than the wax ring because I would think if the wax ring was bad that it would leak during the flushing process.  The toilet is stable (i.e., doesn't rock) and I do not smell any sewer gas (we are on city, not septic).  I agree that it probably isn't a good idea to caulk/putty all the way around the toilet.  We are on a slab, so I'm not concerned about rotting wood, but I understand about the potential mold issue.  I'd be interested in further comments.  Thanks again.
Posted 2016-01-28T02:11:46+0000  by JoeM

You are quite welcome, JoeM.

If you really would like to see how level the slab subfloor is, simply use a bubble style or laser style level to view the toilet area. 

Again, and I cannot stress this enough, the tile as well as toilet is only going to be as good as how it was installed. Hence, you not needed or having to place any cushioning if its on a level and well installed floor.

In fact, even if you placed cushioning materials, it can usually mean more trouble than its worth further down the line, due to it being more difficult to spot a leak.

Once everything is set in place properly, no leaks or issues like cracking should ever occur. 

I appreciate your follow up question. Any further ones, just let us know.



Posted 2016-01-30T16:06:00+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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